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Guide to Councils

Waste management

As a society we generate a considerable amount of waste that must be properly managed to minimise risks to public health and to the environment. Councils play an active role in waste management by providing waste disposal and recycling services. They also regulate the waste disposal of individuals and organisations in the municipality.

In addition to providing waste services and regulation, councils frequently provide advice and education to assist and encourage people to dispose/recycle their waste responsibly.

Each council's performance for Waste Collection can be viewed and compared in the Compare Councils section of this site. To do this, click on the service area icon, select your council from the filter, then use the checkbox to select three additional similar councils for comparison from the list.

Waste services

Councils provide a range of waste disposal and recycling services for their communities. Some services, such as the collection and disposal of general household garbage, are common to all councils. Many other services vary, depending on the needs and priorities of the relevant communities.

Contact your council to find out about the particular waste disposal and recycling services provided in your area.

Specific waste services provided by councils can include:

  • kerbside collection and disposal of general household garbage
  • hard rubbish collections
  • kerbside recycling services that may include paper, glass, plastic and metal waste products
  • kerbside garden organics collection services or kerbside food (kitchen) organics and garden organics services
  • drop off for disposal and/or recycling of other specific types of items including metals, chemicals, oil, e-waste, paper, cardboard, garden organics or used printer cartridges
  • operation of resource recovery centres/transfer stations for disposal and recycling services
  • operation of landfills for the disposal of waste
  • operation of re-sale shops to sell diverted materials
  • commercial waste removal services in specific circumstances
  • community education services about waste, resource recovery and litter
  • provision and servicing of publicly placed bins for the collection of waste and recycling.

The way these services are provided can vary from area to area. While household garbage services most frequently involve the provision and regular emptying of bins, in some areas household waste may be disposed at resource recovery centre/transfer stations. Similarly, recycling services may be provided through collection from individual household bins or at resource recovery centres/transfer stations or depots in the municipality.

Many councils levy a garbage charge as part of the rates system. This can vary in relation to the size of bin provided.

Regulation of waste

Councils also make and enforce local laws to control the disposal of waste in their areas as well as regulating some waste activities under Victorian state laws, including:

  • disposal of dangerous pollutants such as asbestos
  • domestic wastewater (sewage) systems
  • littering
  • burning off and use of incinerators
  • proper use of council waste disposal services.

For more information consult your council or the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).